Only in Scandinavia

It’s rare to find a destination that celebrates old and new so seamlessly as Scandinavia. Looking to Scandinavia’s past is guaranteed to stir your imagination, with traces from prolific rock paintings to sunken Viking ships. Forward thinking, sleek minimalist décor and evolutionary environmental practices allow you to simultaneously peer into the future. This paradox is evident in Scandinavia’s capitals of Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen – cities that can all be explored in the course of one exciting trip.

ThinkstockPhotos-505636467Oslo, Norway

Norway’s charming capital city embodies its Scandinavian roots. Dining out in Norway’s capital Oslo is a great introduction; aquavit, a potato-based liquor and pickled herring are staples on many menus and, like Sweden, fine seafood dining is a main attraction. Hungry for history? You’ll find Viking helmets, swords and grand 9th-century ships on display at the Viking Ship Museum. The Vigeland Sculpture Park and the famous Munch Museum, featuring works by the eponymous artist, also serve as wonderful cultural outings. Venture on an evening cruise through Oslo’s stunning fjord, glide past city sites such as the spectacular Opera House – a recent award-winning addition. To get an even fuller picture of the country’s offerings, take the Norway in a Nutshell tour, including a visit to the breathtaking city of Bergen, a “fjord safari” or ride on the famous Flåm Railway.

Stockholm, Sweden

Built on 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges, Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm is part lush archipelago and part urban marvel. Surrounded by more than 24,000 islands, islets and skerries (small rocky islands often too small to inhabit), waterways serve as a wonderful means for admiring the city. Exploring by foot, you’ll get a chance to soak up trendy shops, flora-filled parks and sites such as The Vasa Museum. Considered a Swedish icon, the Vasa is the world’s only preserved 17th-century vessel, which sunk in Stockholm’s harbor during her maiden voyage of 1628, and is now gloriously restored. If you’re looking for more recent history, check out the brand new ABBA Museum, a salute to Sweden’s most beloved pop group as well as Fotografiska, a new museum considered the world’s largest venue for contemporary photography.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Voted the world’s happiest people by the United Nations World Happiness Report, Denmark seems to have figured out how to embrace life’s simple pleasures. In the capital of Copenhagen, the city’s bike-riding inhabitants appear to outnumber cars – an urban model for the future. We suggest renting a bicycle and exploring Copenhagen’s charming streets; begin at Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park that dates back to 1843. Copenhagen is the land of Danish royalty and you’ll find age-old decadence well-preserved inside the city’s romantic castles, from the charm of Frederiksborg Castle just north of Copenhagen to the renaissance beauty of Rosenborg Castle to the architectural splendor of Amalienborg Castle. And art thrives just outside Copenhagen at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a private museum featuring modern and ancient art complemented by its inspiring architectural surroundings.

So whether your interests include stays at sleek and contemporary hotels, capital-city pursuits or fjord exploration, choose from Scandinavia tours, or we can put together a custom trip with unmatched in value and exclusive privileges. Call or visit us online today to plan your own Scandinavian adventure.

 

10 Best Day Trips from London

10 Best Day Trips From LondonThere is so much to do and see in London, England that you could stay for a century, and it would never get old. But, if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Central London, the English countryside holds much in store for the weary traveler.

Here are the 10 best day trips from London:

10 – Stonehenge and Bath
Only a few hours drive from Central London, the picturesque county of Somerset is home to some of Britain’s greatest archaeological treasures: Stonehenge and the Roman Baths at Bath. Stonehenge remains a mystery to us even 5,000 years after its construction, yet there is something serenely peaceful about the area. Bath is a picturesque little village that is also home to the best preserved Roman baths in Northern Europe. Here you can tour the historical site or even book yourself a thermal treatment.

9 – Windsor Castle
Just a short hop from Hammersmith, Windsor Castle sits regally in the town of Windsor. Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world, and it is the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Visitors can see spectacular art collections, historical exhibitions about the Royal family and even see the views from the tower. Lucky visitors can even see the state rooms when the Queen is not in residence.

8 – Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle
Lying between London and Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon is a great day out for the literary types. The birthplace of the man now known as Shakespeare, there is much to do and see. Visitors may tour the home where Shakespeare was born as well as other houses that played a significant role in his life. Warwick Castle provides a fun day out for the whole family. This medieval castle boasts daily shows, interactive activities and even a Horrible Histories tour for the young and young at heart.

7 – Oxford
Oxford University is the city’s greatest treasure, and the many colleges provide for both beautiful architecture and intellectual stimulation. The Pitt Rivers Museum is a glorious collection of ethnographic pieces from all over the world. The Oxford University Botanical Gardens are a beautiful afternoon walk, and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History features hours of fun for the whole family.

6 – Canterbury & Leeds Castle
Canterbury is a city steeped in tradition, and the city is very proud of its influence in the Magna Carta. Drafted in 1215 by the Bishop of Canterbury, this is the document that gave British citizens civil liberties for the first time. Leeds Castle is a lovely castle surrounded by 500 acres of gardens and parks in Kent. The castle is the host of many events throughout the year and is also home to The Dog Collar Museum – a museum of over 100 dog collars spanning over five centuries.

5 – The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are a picturesque region of southern England, and a visitor with a keen eye may recognize the scenery from recent television programs like “Wolf Half” or “The Casual Vacancy.” The Cotswolds are famous for their scenery, and you will enjoy a beautiful day outdoors breathing the fresh country air whether you choose to go cycling, walking or horse riding.

4 – Cambridge
Cambridge is another gorgeous and ancient university town that boasts many cultural activities like galleries and theater trips. A relaxed and quiet little city, you can enjoy a picnic in the park, punting on the River Cam and even a relaxed cycle down the cities excellent cycling paths. Visitors may partake in official tours of Cambridge colleges, libraries, and museums, or even embark on a full walking tour of the city itself.

3 – Brighton
Brighton Rock! When the sun is shining, Londoners head out of the city and to Brighton pier to have some fun in the sun! Brighton hosts endless entertainment from the pier, to the water to a host of museums and cultural events. You can even spend the day trawling through the many interesting shops, galleries and cafes that line Brighton’s streets. At night, the city comes alive with comedy, cabaret, theater and an endless amount of pubs and dancing venues.

2 – Edinburgh
Hop a train from King’s Cross and in three or so hours you will find yourself in the capital of Scotland, the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Edinburgh inspires in both the sun and the rain. Its windy streets and infinite staircases remind visitors of the history that has transpired in this city. The city boasts many Scottish museums and galleries as well as the official residence of Her Royal Highness the Queen, Holyrood Palace, which is nestled at the foot of the awe-inspiring Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park.

1 – Paris
Paris is always a good idea, and being only two hours from London on the Eurostar, how could you say no? Hop over to France for the day and explore all of the glory Paris has in store from the shopping to the culture to the gardens. Paris is pure radiance, and it’s only a short ride away.

Many of these day trips are included in your itinerary when you take a England escorted tour.

 

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